Classical Music News of the Week, April 28, 2013

The Attacca Quartet Performs Quartets by Bartók, Dvorak, and Haydn in 20th Annual Lisa Arnhold Memorial Recital, Tuesday, May 7 at 8 p.m. in Alice Tully Hall

The Attacca Quartet performs quartets by Bartok, Dvorak, and Haydn on the 20th annual Lisa Arnhold Memorial Recital on Tuesday, May 7 at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City, NY. The program features Haydn’s String Quartet No. 55 in D Major, Op. 71, No. 2; Bartok’s String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114; and Dvorak’s String Quartet No. 13 in G Major, Op. 106. The Quartet completes its two-year residency at Juilliard’s graduate resident quartet this semester.

Free tickets will be available beginning April 23 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM. For further information, call (212)769-7406. 

Following their Alice Tully Hall recital, the Attacca Quartet has been invited to perform at the Library of Congress, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School and Festival, and Buffalo Chamber Music Society.

--Amanda Sweet, BuckleSweet Media

YPC Joins Stephen Petronio Company in Seven World Premiere Performances of Like Lazarus Did at the Joyce Theater, New York City, April 30-May 5, 2013
Like Lazarus Did marks the third Joyce Theater collaboration between the Stephen Petronio Company and the Young People's Chorus of New York City with seven world premiere performances of Mr. Petronio's newest work,

Like Lazarus Did, with music by Son Lux and a "living set" by Janine Antoni. YPC performed an excerpt from Like Lazarus Did with the Stephen Petronio Company and composer Son Lux at its recent Carnegie Hall gala.

In 2006, The New York Times wrote that "Mr. Petronio is trying something different: adding the Young People's Chorus of New York City to a list of high-profile collaborators that in the past has included the photographer Cindy Sherman, the rocker Lou Reed, and the fashion designer Tara Subkoff." That year the Petronio Company commissioned Rufus Wainwright to compose Bloom, which YPC premiered not only with the Petronio Company in its acclaimed Joyce Theater engagement, but also in its Transient Glory new music series. The two companies collaborated again at the Joyce in the 2009 in the world premiere performances of Nico Muhly's I Drink the Air Before Me, the title of which came from Shakespeare's The Tempest. The New Yorker wrote that "the energy from a relentless score by Nico Muhly [was] leavened by the sweet voices of the Young People's Chorus of New York City."

Before each performance of Like Lazarus Did several choristers, together with Son Lux and musicians C. J. Camerieri and Rob Moose, will form a ceremonial procession moving down 19th Street from Ninth Avenue to the Joyce. Prior to the first two performances (April 30 and May 1), in addition to the procession, 70 YPC singers will perform with the musicians in front of the Joyce Theater on Eighth Avenue.

Click here for ticket information: http://stephenpetronio.com/home/

--K. Gibson, Young People’s Chorus of New York

92Y Announce their May Performances
92nd Street Y of New York City is a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness, and Jewish life. Through the breadth and depth of 92Y’s extraordinary programs, we enrich lives, create community and elevate humanity. More than 300,000 people visit 92Y’s New York City venues, and millions more join us through the Internet, satellite broadcasts and other digital media. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and enthusiastically welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives.

Wednesday, May 8, 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 9, 12 p.m.:
Jaime Laredo, Susie Park,
Ida Kavafian, Sharon Robinson,
David Shifrin, André Watts

Saturday, May 11, 8 p.m.:
Tokyo String Quartet and Lynn Harrell, cello

Thursday, May 23, 7:30 p.m.:
Benjamin Verdery, guitar

Customers are now able to Select Your Own Seat for reserved events in Kaufman Concert Hall. Product pages have been improved to allow for easier ordering on tablet devices, more prominance for social media sharing and a cleaner layout in keeping with our recently redesigned homepage. Customers with special needs are now able to reserve wheelchair seating and wheelchair companion seats online without having to call the Box Office.

--Ashlyn Damm, Kirshbaum Demler & Associates

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the New Century Chamber Orchestra Present a World Premiere by Featured Composer Lera Auerbach May 23-26
Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the New Century Chamber Orchestra conclude their 2012-2013 season May 23-26 with the world premiere of String Symphony “Memoria de la Luz” by Featured Composer Lera Auerbach. An abstract exploration of past memories, String Symphony is a six movement work that blurs the boundaries between the secular and sacred. Each movement incorporates extended techniques and effects for the ensemble serving as a soul searching “prayer” connecting the listener with distant memories of the primordial light. Discussing the themes of her work, Ms. Auerbach states, “I believe that music is about connection – it’s about emotional connection on the strongest emotional level that transcends our intellect, our reason.” Also featured on the program is Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Haydn’s Symphony No. 45.

The only purely instrumental work in Wagner’s compositional output, Siegfried Idyll was written expressly as an offering to his wife Cosima Liszt on her first birthday of their marriage.

Haydn’s Symphony No. 45 “Farewell” serves as an insight into the composer’s exploration into the symphonic genre as he sought new compositionally creative directions.

The program will be given on four evenings in different locations around the Bay Area: Thursday, May 23 at 8 p.m., First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA; Friday, May 24 at 8 p.m., First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, CA; Saturday, May 25 at 8 p.m., SF Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, CA; and Sunday, May 26 at 5 p.m., Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael, CA. New Century offers an Open Rehearsal Tuesday, May 21 at 10 a.m., SF Conservatory of Music, San Francisco for a price of only $8. The Open Rehearsal will offer a sneak preview of the concert repertoire, while allowing audiences to experience the musical democracy of a rehearsal without a conductor.

The concerts will also feature a From the Stage video presentation, serving as a short, dynamic visual program note to provide insight about the world premiere from Lera Auerbach and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.

Lera Auerbach is the Featured Composer for the 2012-2013 Season, a program established by Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg in her first season as music director to commission new works for the chamber ensemble. Ms. Auerbach is the orchestra’s fifth Featured Composer, following Clarice Assad, William Bolcom, Mark O’Connor, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Lera Auerbach’s Featured Composer Residency is made possible in part by the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation.

Single tickets range in price from $29 to $59 and are on sale through City Box Office: www.cityboxoffice.com or at (415) 392-4400. Open rehearsal tickets are priced at $8.

For further information on New Century, please visit www.ncco.org

--Karen Ames Communications

World Renowned Cellist Janos Starker Dies at 88
Cellist Janos Starker, a renowned concert soloist and a Grammy Award-winning recording artist, died Sunday morning at age 88.

Starker was a child prodigy. He began playing the cello in the early 1930s in Hungary at age six, and by the time he was 8 years old he had his first student.

"I played in public at 11, 12, 13, 14, and 14 was the big, dramatic break-through for me because a colleague of mine was supposed to play with a student orchestra, Dvorak Concerto," Starker remembered. "I, as a student, was in the orchestra, as a cellist. At noon the phone rang in our apartment and my teacher called and said, 'Would you like to play Dvorak Concerto?' I said 'When?' 'This afternoon.' And I said, "May I use the music?" They said, "Sure." And I played and that was supposedly one of the big dramatic successes of childhood prodigies," he says.

At age 14, Starker's teachers encouraged him to quit school so he would have more time to practice. A year later his teacher retired so Starker took over and began teaching a number of the students.

Starker says his big break came in 1939, when he performed Zoltan Kodaly's Sonata for Solo Cello--a piece known for being unplayable.

--Indiana Public Media

Conductor Nicola Luisotti Returns with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra on Friday, May 17, to Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, CA
Nicola Luisotti and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra step out of the pit and into the bright lights of center stage at Zellerbach Hall on Friday, May 17 at 8:00 p.m. The concert begins with Giacomo Puccini’s Capriccio sinfonico. Written during his time as a student at the Milan Conservatory, this was the last orchestral piece that Puccini ever wrote and expresses a musical style like that of the preambles of his famous operas. Next comes a more modern piece, Nino Rota’s Piano Concerto in C major (1959-1962). Rota was a contemporary Italian composer most famous for writing film scores for The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, the latter of which received an Academy Award. Johannes Brahms’ passionate and lyrical Symphony No. 3 in F major completes the program. The San Francisco Chronicle praised the orchestra’s last appearance at Cal Performances in 2011 for its “robust and finely colored ensemble sound, [and] powerful sense of dramatic momentum.”

Mastro Nicola Luisotti has led the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 2009. Luisotti has conducted with nearly every major opera company in the world, including La Scala, Paris Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, and the Vienna State Opera. He has also worked with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonik, London Philharmonia, NHK Symphony, Russian National Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony. He was also previously the principal guest conductor of the Tokyo Symphony for three years. In 2012, Luisotti was named the music director of Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy. In this position, he has led a performance of Verdi’s rarely performed Masnadieri and a concert of Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. This season, he also produced a new production of Verdi’s Nabucco at Milan’s La Scala and Covent Garden. Praised by Opera Magazine for being “both an original thinker and a great respecter of tradition,” he is currently a finalist of their prestigious Conductor Award. To learn more about Luisotti, visit his official page at http://nicolaluisotti.com.

The San Francisco Opera Orchestra was founded in 1923. Today, the orchestra has nearly 70 professional musicians and plays a full season of opera and concert performances. In addition to performing with the opera orchestra, the orchestra’s members play in numerous Bay Area ensembles including the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Artists also teach at local institutions, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University and St. Mary’s College. Members also maintain active studio recording careers, are featured in music festivals and run private teaching studios. To learn more about the orchestra, visit their official page at http://sfopera.com/About/People/Orchestra.

Tickets for the San Francisco Opera Orchestra on May 17 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $20.00-$80.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

Friday, May 17, at 8:00 p.m.                
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley Campus
Bancroft Way at Telegraph Ave., Berkeley

Program:
Puccini: Capriccio sinfonico
Rota: Piano Concerto in C major
Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90

Tickets: Range from $20.00-$80.00, subject to change, and are available through the Cal Performances Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at calperformances.org; and at the door.

--Joe Yang, Cal Performances

The Bach Sinfonia Presents ¡Nuevo Mundo Barroco!: Latin Flair meets Baroque Music Majesty on Cinco de Mayo
On Cinco de Mayo, The Bach Sinfonia will present rarely-heard South American Baroque music, including the first hearing in the USA of works by 18th-Century Cuban composer Esteban Salas, on Sunday, May 5 at 3 p.m. at the Cultural Arts Center at Silver Spring, Montgomery College,7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910.

2012 Grammy nominees for their album The Kingdoms of Castille, soprano Jennifer Ellis Kampani and Baroque guitarist and lutenist Richard Savino are featured soloists.  Highlights of the performance include Padillas Mass for Double Choir as well as selections from the Beatus Vir and Misa a San Ignacio from the Paraguaian/Bolivian composer Domenico Zipoli.

Throughout the late 16th and 17th centuries South America and Mexico experienced a great rise in wealth as gold-fueled Spanish colonialism and Spanish missionaries established a distinctive musical culture. At first based on European models, the compositions created in the “other Americas” became more influenced by local musical forms, creole languages and newly trained indigenous composers. When Spanish power waned in the early 18th century, the relaxing of European training for cathedral directors led to a new generation of baroque composers with even stronger national identities, and a rich independent musical tradition throughout South America and Central America.

Program:
Ignazio Balbi (1720-1775) [Italy/Bolivia]: Trio Sonata
Francisco López Capillas (c. 1608-1674) [Mexico]: Cui Luna, Sol Et Omnia
Capillas: Alleluia—Dic Nobis Maria
Rafael Castellanos (c.1725-1791) [Guatemala]: Oygan una Xacarilla
Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (c.1590-1664) [Mexico]: Misa Ego Flos Campi
Juan de Araujo (1646–1712) [Peru]: Los coflades de la estleya
Esteban Salas (1725-1803) [Cuba]: Vayan unas especies
Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726) [Paraguay/Bolivia]: Beatus vir         
Zipoli: Misa a San Ignacio
Antonio de Salazar (c.1650–1715) [Mexico]: Tarara tarara qui yo soy Antonyio
Tomas de Torrejon (1644-1728) [Peru]: A este sol peregrino           
Juan Garcia de Zespedes (c.1616-1678) [Mexico]: Convidando está la noche   

--Jennifer Buzzell

Lara Downes Launches The Artist Sessions, Progressive Classical Music Series at Yoshi’s Jazz Bar
The iconic San Francisco venue is the location for Downes’s series, blending musical innovation with intriguing themes and fascinating conversation (and cocktails).

California-based Lara Downes, widely acknowledged as a trailblazer in reinventing the solo and chamber piano show, will present the first in her new concert series, The Artist Sessions at the famous Yoshi’s Jazz Bar in San Francisco. The monthly series will present some of the world’s leading classical musicians in innovative contexts – in short, every concert will have its ‘story’.

First up is Lara herself, alongside guests the San Francisco Quartet and Rik Malone, host of Classical KDFC. The evening will be based around music of exile and Lara’s own new album Exiles Café (on the Steinway label) – the album was CD of the Week simultaneously on WQXR and WFMT and shortly afterwards on Classical KDFC. Downes is in the midst of an extensive North America tour of Exiles Café.

Also on the bill for later in the series are Christopher O’Riley (May 29), Gabriel Kahane (Sept 5), Awadagin Pratt (Oct 17), Theo Bleckmann (Nov 14), Dan Tepfer with Lara Downes (Dec 12), Alexandre Da Costa (Jan 16), Mohammed Fairouz (Feb 27), Zuill Bailey with Lara Downes (March 11), Anthony de Mare (March 25) and Matt Haimovitz (April 6). Cocktails and supper will be offered during the performances, as will full dinners in the adjacent award-winning new-style Japanese restaurant.

Yoshi's is one of the foremost venues for music in the U.S. Originally opened by Yoshie Akiba, her husband Kaz Kajimura, and chef Hiroyuki Hori as a restaurant, it soon became as well-known for its jazz. What started as a sideline to entertain diners became the main event. Showcasing international stars such as Chick Corea, Ravi Coltrane and Jack DeJohnette, it has become a pacesetter on the US jazz scene. The Artist Sessions aims to do the same from the classical music standpoint for Yoshi's San Francisco.

Watch Lara Downes's new music video, Tango from the Exiles Cafe - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy7-CJmtN3U

--Inverne Price Music

The Cunning Little Vixen
Sunday, April 28 at 2 p.m.; Tuesday, Apr 30 at 8 p.m.; and Thursday, May 2 at 8 p.m. at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York City, NY.

“An opera about Walt Disney by Philip Glass recently had its premiere, and any year now we might see Les contes de Tintin or Fledermaus und Robin. But for now, the only major operatic work to be based on a cartoon is The Cunning Little Vixen, a 1924 piece by quirky Czech master Leoš Janác(ek, that debuted in Brno. The composer was no callow hipster courting cool. He was 70, with two more incredibly innovative stage works to come, when he turned a daily newspaper strip dealing with forest-animal adventures into a funny, racy, rueful meditation on life’s brevity and transcendence—and, obliquely, his own love for a younger woman. The titular Vixen wreaks barnyard havoc, becomes a squatter and discovers the joys of sex. The humans around her go through life and love travails, and a frog gets the last word.

New York City Opera used to showcase Vixen in spiffy Maurice Sendak sets. Now, Juilliard Opera’s Anne Manson, who’s conducted almost all of Janácek’s orchestral works, leads a promising cast. ‘Half the piece is orchestral music—its emotional content drives the action forward,’ says Manson. ‘What’s so extraordinary is this human/animal borderline zone, pointedly not differentiated musically. But the animals know they’re living in the present, whereas the humans—until that extraordinary surge at the end—are guys sitting around in bars, bemoaning the past.’” --David Shengold, Time Out

--Schwalbe and Partners

8-15 Full-Time String/Orchestra Positions Needed in Las Vegas for Fall
Clark County School District in Las Vegas Nevada will be hiring 8-15 full-time string/orchestra specialists for the 2013-2014 school year. All MS positions are full time, one school, no travel positions. Most high school positions are also full-time, one-school positions (with very few two school exceptions). All positions are certified teaching placements.

CCSD is the fifth largest school district in the country, and one of the largest Fine Arts departments in the USA. The Clark County Schools have been recognized for 14 consecutive years as "A Best Community for Music Education." If interested, please visit www.ccsd.net and explore the Web site. If CCSD looks like a good fit for you, the on-line application process can be started from this page.

If after you visit the website you have questions please contact Dr. Rick McEnaney, Coordinator at: rmcenaney@interact.ccsd.net

--Clark County School District

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John J. Puccio

John J. Puccio

About the Author

Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor.

Today, I'm retired from teaching and use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.

Mission Statement

It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.

When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.

So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job.

Contact Information

Readers with polite, courteous, helpful letters may send them to pucciojj@gmail.com.

Readers with impolite, discourteous, bitchy, whining, complaining, nasty, mean-spirited, unhelpful letters may send them to pucciojj@recycle.bin.

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa